2022 Draft Watch: First Look at Ousmane Dieng

July 24th, 2021

By Alan Lu

6-9 French forward, Ousmane Dieng has been getting significant draft buzz, as he’s projected to be a first round prospect in the 2022 draft, and he also signed on to play for New Zealand in the NBL in Australia’s top professional league.  I took the time to watch him play in a March 3rd game for Centre Federal Du Basket-Ball against GET Vosges, with thanks to YouTube via Pole CFBB.  It also provided an opportunity to watch Arizona’s 6-6 incoming point forward, Adama-Alpha Bal, who also played on Dieng’s team in this game.  Here are my thoughts on how Dieng fared, as well as how his game may translate to the

6-9 point forward, Ousmane Dieng recently signed with the New Zealand Breakers in the NBL, and he could be a first round pick in the 2022 draft.
(Photo:
Bellenger/IS/FFBB)

Ousmane Dieng is a very athletic point forward that was able to make some solid plays in this game, though he had his ups and downs in his team’s loss to GET Vosges.

Dieng showed a decent ability to score off the dribble.  He has a solid first step, and he can finish plays using either hand.  He prefers going to his right, and he will go hard to draw fouls upon his defenders to frequently get to the free throw line.  Sometimes though, he will take tough, off-balanced shots in traffic, which would lead to misses. He also flashed the ability to knock down jumpers in this game.  Dieng showed the ability to make step-back jumpers, and he also ran off of a ball screen quickly to make a corner three to show off his shooting skills.  However, he would tend to dribble around for too long, and he would end up missing on contested, pull-up threes.  

He also displayed satisfactory playmaking skills.  Dieng is a tall point forward that likes to handle the basketball.  He can swiftly find open shooters, and he can throw accurate interior passes and long outlet passes to set up scoring chances for his teammates off cuts and in transition.  On the downside, he also would sometimes struggle to create separation on offense, and there was one play where he appeared to get away with a clear out prior to taking a long two.  He was called for traveling once on a drive to the hoop.  Another time, he struggled to handle ball pressure when bringing the ball up, as he threw an inaccurate low pass that ended up out of bounds.

Plus, Dieng also did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  He was active at crashing the glass, and sometimes he would push the ball quickly up the floor.  Defensively, he struggled though.  For the positives, he would get his hands on passes to help his team get steals and deflections.  He also would contest jump shots from both out on the perimeter and in the paint to force misses.  On the other hand, he struggled to defend opponents off the dribble.  Sometimes he would struggle to move his feet to keep up with his opponents, as he would be unable to cut off penetration, and he would pick up quick fouls as a result.  Another time, he got outmuscled when defending in the post to allow a score.  On a separate play, he got caught ball watching, as he lost track of his man on a cut, which led his teammate to commit a foul.

Overall, Ousmane Dieng is an athletic forward that can create shots for himself and others on offense.  He will need to improve his jump shot and defense.  Currently, he may project to go in the late first to the second round range in the 2022 draft, and he may have a similar game to Detroit Pistons’ swingman, Hamidou Diallo.  If he plays well in the NBL, his draft stock could soar to the lottery range, and he has the upside to maybe develop into a starter in the NBA if he can reach his full potential.

Other Notes:

Get Vosges’ 6-9 forward, Mohamad Diop played fairly well in his team’s win over Centre Federal Du Basket-Ball.  He is a very athletic, high-motor player that can make solid hustle plays, and he also can finish plays above the rim. Diop generally excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  He was able to lead the break to go coast to coast, as he managed to score on a thunderous dunk on a speedy drive in transition.  He also caught a long pass off of a backdoor cut to score on a powerful dunk another time.

Plus, he also flashed the ability to knock down jumpers.  Diop was able to make a quick, open spot-up three in transition.  On the downside, he didn’t seem to take enough threes in games, and he also struggled to knock down mid-range jumpers. He also displayed an adequate ability to score off the dribble.  Diop was able to draw free throws on a runner off of a right-handed drive.  On the downside, he had his shot blocked off of a drive on a separate play. He displayed fairly average playmaking skills.  Diop can pass out of the post, and he can handle the ball on the break.  On the other hand, he did throw a pass that got deflected out of bounds to nearly commit a turnover.

Also, he was able to haul in several boards to help his team get boards on both ends of the floor.  Diop also played adequate defense in this game.  He would use his length to contest jump shots out on the perimeter as well as in the post to force misses.  On the downside, he would sometimes take bad angles when defending screens or get beat on moves to the hoop, which would put his team in scramble situations and lead them to allow scores.

Overall, Diop is a very athletic big man that was able to make some solid plays in this game.  He showed that he can play above the rim.  He’ll need to improve his outside shot and show that he can excel at higher levels.  He’ll most likely go undrafted, but if he makes it to the NBA, he could be a similar player to Ronald Dupree in the association.

Centre Federal Du Basket-Ball’s 6-6 point guard, Adama-Alpha Bal had his ups and downs in his team’s loss to GET Vosges.  He generally struggled on offense, but he is a very athletic playmaker that can create plays for his team with the ball in his hands. Bal showed an adequate ability to score off the dribble.  He will go hard to the hoop, and he has a solid first step that will enable him to draw fouls upon his defenders to get to the free throw line.  He also was able to dribble off of a screen to make a quick pull-up three, but he struggled to knock down three-pointers consistently as he didn’t shoot well in this game.

He displayed adequate at best playmaking skills on offense.  Bal is an unselfish player that can pass and handle the basketball.  He can push the pace and make passes off the dribble, and he can throw solid interior passes to find teammates on the move.  However, he can tend to over-dribble and struggle to handle ball pressure, which can lead him to commit passing and ball-handling turnovers.  He’ll throw weak passes that will get intercepted, and he also had a ball knocked away from him to lose it another time.

Also, Bal struggled defensively.  He was able to run in to intercept a quick pass to get a steal.  He also contested a deep three to force an airball another time, and Bal can be a solid defender when focused.  However, he can tend to be too unfocused as he’ll get caught ball watching, which will lead him to wander too far off his man and to leave shooters open.  Other times, he’ll over-compensate, which can lead him to be too aggressive on close outs, or to commit touch fouls as a result.

Overall, Bal is a very athletic, big point guard that will be going to Arizona for the upcoming season.  It will be interesting to see how well he’ll fare at that level.  He’ll need to improve his shooting and decision-making skills, but he could be a prospect to keep tabs on in the future.

Centre Federal Du Basket-Ball’s 6-6 swingman, Melvin Pierre Ajinca played well on both ends of the floor in his team’s loss to GET Vosges.  He shot the ball well, and he also made some solid hustle plays on both ends of the floor in this game. Ajinca showed a solid ability to knock down jumpers on offense.  He would run off the ball to make quick, open spot-up threes off the catch.  He also ran off the ball to make a quick, long two from the baseline.  He didn’t look to score off the dribble much, but he was able to draw free throws on a contested floater in traffic. He also generally excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  He ran the floor to score on a powerful dunk.  He also would’ve scored on a strong jam off of a cut, but it didn’t count because his teammate was called for stepping out of bounds.

On the downside, he was also turnover prone on offense.  For the positives, Ajinca is an unselfish player that can throw accurate interior passes to find teammates on the move.  However, he also struggled to protect the basketball, as he stepped out once, and he also had it poked away that led him to get tied up and to turn the ball over another time.  He also threw a hasty pass that got intercepted on a separate play.

He also did a decent job of rebounding the basketball.  Ajinca did a great of crashing the glass to help his team get offensive boards.  He also chased down a defensive rebound, as he was able to push the ball up the floor another time.

Also, Ajinca played solid defense in this game.  He was able to rotate to block a shot off of a drive hard to a teammate.  He also managed to hustle back to contest a shot on the break to help force a miss.  He also was active in contesting jump shots both out on the perimeter and in the paint to get stops for his team.  On the downside, he would sometimes be too aggressive in making his rotations and contesting shots, which would lead his team to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, Melvin Pierre Ajinca is an athletic, high-motor swingman that excelled at making plays on both ends of the floor.  He is a talented player that could be a solid prospect for the 2023 draft, and it will be interesting to see how well he can play at higher levels in the future.

Centre Federal Du Basket-Ball’s 6-6 swingman, Rayan Rupert played fairly well in his team’s loss to GET Vosges.  He excelled at scoring on strong, crafty drives to the hoop.  He also was able to score around the basket, and he also ran off of a curl cut and used a spin move to score on a turnaround, mid-range jumper.  On the downside, he had trouble making threes, as he missed both of them from beyond the arc.

He also was able to chase down a pair of defensive boards to get them in this game.  On the other hand, he struggled defensively.  For the positives, Rupert is an active defender that will apply considerable ball pressure.  He also recovered to alter a shot off of a drive to force a miss.  However, he can tend to be too aggressive when defending opposing ball handlers and out on the perimeter, which would lead him to commit fouls.  He also overplayed out on the perimeter and get beat on a backdoor cut to allow a score another time. Overall, Rupert is a fairly athletic swingman that excelled at attacking the basket to score on offense.  He will need to improve in the other areas of the game, but he could be a prospect to keep tabs on in the future.

Centre Federal Du Basket-Ball’s  6-6 swingman, Mael Crespin played fairly well in his team’s loss to GET Vosges.  He showed off versatile scoring skills, as he can shoot and score the basketball.  He would make open, spot-up threes.  He also ran the floor to score in transition.  He also excelled at dribbling off of offensive rebounds to score on put backs. He also passed the ball well.  He would throw solid interior passes to find teammates on the move to get assists.

Also, Crespin did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  He would chase down balls to get multiple boards on both ends of the floor.  He also managed to push the ball up the floor after getting a defensive board once.  On the other hand, he ended up committing an over the back foul when going for an offensive board on a separate possession.

He also played solid defense.  Crespin was able to jump on a loose ball that his teammate deflected to help his team get a steal.  He also would often contest jump shots to force misses.  Another time though, he rotated but got beat off the dribble by his opponent, as his team allowed the score that time.

Overall, Mael Crespin is a skilled shooter that will play hard on both ends of the floor to help his team in games.  He may not have ideal physical tools, but he is a shooter whose ability to make threes could give him a chance to make it to the NBA in the future.  It will be interesting to see if he can play well at higher levels, and he could be a player to keep in eye on sometime down the road.

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